Randy Bachman + Peter Frampton, “Heavy Blues” (2015): One Track Mind

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Heavy blues, indeed. Randy Bachman — leading a new group simply called Bachman – isn’t soft selling his forthcoming album, advanced here by a raucous side featuring Peter Frampton.

“Heavy Blues” begins with an aggressively crunchy, “American Woman”-esque declamation before Bachman’s voice — as famous from his work with Bachman-Turner Overdrive as that guitar sound was with the great Guess Who hit — takes this song back toward more accustomed environs.

Still, Randy Bachman keeps his steel-toed boot firmly on the gas as the title track from Heavy Blues, available April 14, 2015 via Linus Entertainment, rumbles forward. This is flinty blues-rock in the muscular trio style favored into the turn of the ’70s, played with plenty of attitude and just as much virtuosity. Then Peter Frampton arrives to up the ante.

If, to this point, “Heavy Blues” felt like a heady combining of things you’ve heard from Randy Bachman before, suddenly it’s something else: A fierce guitar battle. Bachman has never gotten the credit, and certainly not the attention, that Frampton enjoyed as a soloist. “Heavy Blues” shows Bachman can more than hold his own, as he pushes back with gruff retorts to every one of the still-resonant Peter Frampton’s soaring lines.

Heavy Blues, in fact, promises many more of these guitar-summit revelations. Randy Bachman will also be tangling with Joe Bonamassa, Neil Young and the late Jeff Healey, along with Robert Randolph and others.

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